The (Revised) Banned List

John Rentoul

downwith 201x3001 The (Revised) Banned ListTime to recap the entire, updated list:

1. It’s the economy, stupid.
2. A week is a long time in politics. Or variants thereof, such as, “If a week is a long time in politics then a month seems an eternity.”
3. What part of x don’t you understand? Although this one seems to have died a peaceful death already.
4. Way beyond, or way more.
5. Any time soon.
6. “Events, dear boy, events.” (Except as the name of an excellent political blog, currently in abeyance.)
7. Learning curve.
8. Raising awareness.
9. Celebrating diversity.
10. Best practice.
11. Inclusive.
12. Community, especially a vibrant one.
13. Hearts and minds.
14. Celebrity.
15. Makeover.
16. Lifestyle.
17. Going forward.
18. A forward policy.
19. A big ask.
20. Robust.
21. Not fit for purpose.
22. Hard-working families.
23. Apologies for lack of postings.
24. Black hole (in a financial context).
25. The elephant in the room.
26. Perfect storm.
27. Seal the deal.
28. A good election to lose.
29. Game-changer.
30. Beginning an article with “So”.
31. IMO, IMHO, LOL, ROFL and so on. I mean, whose opinion is it going to be? Genuinely witty abbreviations, however, are permitted, for example, QTWTAIN, YYSSW, IICRS (Questions to Which the Answer is No; Yeah, Yeah, Sure, Sure, Whatever; Iraq Inquiry Coverage Rebuttal Service).
32. Vibrant (when used to mean lots of non-English people).
33. Progressive.
34. Arguably, as in “arguably the most perfect village in the Siebenburgen” (Spectator, 24 July 2010).
35. Headlines beginning “Now”, as in “Now You Pay for Prison Parties.”
36. “We will take no lessons on x from y.” Tedious bit of parliamentary polyfilla.
37. Beginning a report with “They came“.
38. Iconic.
39. Action as a verb.
40. Parameter.
41. “The level of.”
42. “A sense of.”
43. “A series of.”
44. “The introduction of.”
45. “A package of.”
46. “A basket of.”
47. “A raft of.”
48. “A range of.”
49. “The prospect of.”
50. “(All) the hallmarks of.”
51. Leverage as a verb.
52. U-turn as a verb.
53. Dislocate as a noun.
54. Toilet, storyline or any other unsuitable noun as a verb.
55. Exponential or exponentially used to mean big or a lot.
56. Incredible or incredibly as intensifiers.
57. “On a daily basis.”

And a new one:

58. It’s in his/her/their DNA.

A ban inspired by Michael Sheen, interviewed by The Sunday Telegraph:

My focus is more about making each moment inhabited and full and complex and as layered as possible. Each moment has to have the DNA.

The original version of the list is here, with additions here.

It should also be noted that the Committee has decreed that some phrases are compulsory.

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  • caccafritta

    Violence with violence.
    Violence does not only mean being knocked on the head with a baton.
    The government actions are violence to the people and so only with violence can be dealt
    The students should arm themselves in order to face armed police

  • Francois Morrow

    Let’s be clear
    At the end of the day

  • LancashireLad

    Smile and the whole state machine laughs at you!

  • Ciaran Rehill

    34. What has Romania to do with anything? 58. The only thing in one’s DNA is A,C,G & T.

  • Aigu

    A fatwa (itself a good candidate) on any reference to deckchairs, the Titanic, icebergs

  • Dominic Newbould

    “To be honest” is a stinker, although I have fond memories of Harold Wilson’s “To be perfectly honest and frank and reasonable…”
    “Bottomed out” has spawned “to bottom out” – ugh!
    Helping everyone “reach their full potential” – is there a limit on potential?

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